Students’ Union to hold forum on marking boycott

ABERYSTWYTH Students’ Union have released a statement concerning the University and College Union’s (UCU) decision for a marking boycott, which is due to commence on April 28th.

October strike where all three of the major unions involved in higher education Unison, UCU and Unite went on strike in protest over pay. Photo - Tomos Nolan

Lecturers on strike in October. All three of the major unions involved in higher education (Unison, UCU and Unite) went on strike in protest over pay.
Photo – Tomos Nolan

The boycott has been described by UCU’s General Secretary Sally Hunt as the “ultimate sanction” on university employers in a bid to resolve escalated pay disputes which have resulted in several one-day and two-hour strikes over the past year.

In the statement from the Students’ Union, an in-depth forum to discuss students’ concerns about the marking boycott and how it will affect them has been announced. This forum is expected to take place at the beginning of March, with more information to be announced soon.


Students’ Union Officer statement on potential marking boycott

You may have read in the press this week that UCU, (the Universities and Colleges Union) have announced that their members will commence a national marking boycott on April 28th unless a pay resolution is reached. This comes in the context of real-term cuts to the pay of many staff working in UK universities whilst the average pay of Vice Chancellors nationally rose by 5% in 2013.

Pay for staff of universities is not decided by individual institutions, but negotiated nationally between trade unions and a body called the Universities and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA); this is a national dispute. The call for a marking boycott from UCU is intended to get the UCEA to agree to take part in serious pay negotiations long before any boycott takes place, and we hope and believe that this announcement will have its intended effect.

It is entirely understandable that many students are very concerned about how any marking boycott may affect them, and we have decided to hold a forum to discuss this in depth. We are waiting to hold this meeting until Student Officers have met with the Aberystwyth branch of UCU, and also until we know the outcome of discussions between UCU and the National Union of Students, due to take place at the end of this month. Further details will be communicated to students once a date is decided upon for this forum.

In the meantime, we just wanted to reassure you that we will be doing all we can to ensure that a marking boycott is not necessary, and that we will see those of you hoping to graduate this summer doing so in July, as planned.


Ioan Rhys Evans

Grace Burton
Education Officer

Mared Ifan
Welsh Affairs Officer and UMCA President

Liv Prewett
Activities Officer

Laura Dickens
Welfare Officer